Popularly called Las Palmas, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is the largest city on Canary Island. It is located in the north east of this island and has two beautiful beaches, Playa de las Canteras and Playa de las Alcaravaneras. Founded in 1478, Las Palmas has a rich cultural heritage, its district of Vegueta has been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. A small city, Las Palmas grew to become a city of about 400,000 inhabitants. Excellent infrastructure of hotels and the development of its harbor Puerto de La Luz, led the path to making Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is bustling tourist destination. A Spanish city that highlights its strong cultural ambiance and history in its buildings and its cuisine. Native sports like Canarian wrestling and Canarian lateen sailing are strongly encouraged. Las Palmas has a beautiful subtropical climate and enjoys warm to mild temperatures throughout the year.
The city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria covers 100.55 km² and has 381,847 inhabitants (2010 census) with a density of 3,797.58 inhabitants per km². The minimum altitude is 8 m, the maximum altitude is 300 m, the average altitude is 8 m.
The current mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is Juan José Cardona (Parti populaire) for the term 2011-2015.
Inhabitant of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city is called Palmense. The french name of the city is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the english name of the city is Las Palmas.
The patron Saint of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city is Lucie de Syracuse. The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city was founded in 1478. The website of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is http://www.laspalmasgc.es
Points of interest
This old square transport's the visitor to medieval times with its architecture and ambiance. Walk along the cobbled pathway, to the Plaza Santa Ana that stands tall near the area of the first settlement of this city. Its entrance is guarded by bronze statues of dogs, legend claims that a dog appeared in 1506 at this town's heights and even today it is the symbol of Las Palmas. Many of the buildings are dated from the 16th century, notice the magnificent Casa Regental, this was the residence of the President of Gran Canaria's High Court of Lay. The Casas Consistoriales is impressive and the Palacio Episcopal still has an ornate single level facade that survived the great fire of 1599. The Vegueta District is a journey back in time with each building reflecting its historical grandeur. The imposing Catedral de Ana is breathtaking. Walk along the Calle del Doctor Chil and the Church of the old Augustinian Convent appears before you. The baroque Church of San Francisco de Asis, the serene Old Seminary and the Museo Canario are intriguing. Explore the Plaza del Espiritu Santo, this is a beautiful square with a phenomenal monumental fountain at its center. Around the square are stately historical houses and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.
The twin towers of the Santa Ana Cathedral looks majestic as it stands tall in the heart of the Vegueta Quater. This is the first church in the Canaries and it was commissioned on the orders of Los Reyes Católicos, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, after Gran Canaria was conquered in 1478. It reflects a mixed architectural influence as it took over four centuries to complete and there were several architects and artists, who worked on this church in that time span. You will see the three basic styles of that period, the Gothic, Renaissance and the Neoclassical. The Santa Ana cathedral was originally a Gothic structure with three naves of the same height. Explore the phenomenal interiors of this cathedral that has statues created by the famous religious sculptor, José Luján Pérez. The south wing has the Patio de Los Naranjos that is the Patio of Orange trees. The Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro is the sacred arts museum of this city, it has on display many religious artifacts, paintings by Dutch masters and an exceptional collection of Spanish sculptures that were created in four centuries.
Monday to Friday: 10:00 to 16:30 and Saturday: 10:00 to 13:30.
The Columbus House is an impressive old building that has been decorated with ornate doorways and charming latticed balconies. Explore this house and notice the large courtyards and carved wooden ceiling that reflect this islands unique features. This house was the residence of the first governors of Las Palmas and historians claim that Christopher Columbus had spend time in this house during 1492, when one of his ships need repairs. After his stay at this palace, it was rename Casa de Colon. This attractive building was constructed in 1777 and it is large enough to house the museum in its rooms. The museum has on display thirteen permanent exhibition rooms, a study center, a library and a few rooms for lectures and seminars. Discover pre-Columbian artifacts, a replica of a cabin from one of Columbus fleet, La Niña. There are on display navigation instruments from ancient times, nautical maps and charts, and paintings that show the friendship between the Americas and this Spanish island. Walk around the house and you will come across a pair of parrots in the courtyard, they are friendly and talkative. A charming house that has seen important visitors.
Monday to Friday 09.00 to 19.00
Saturdays and Sundays 09.00 to 15.00
The Triana is a modern district of Las Palmas with all the commercial buildings in this area, it is a pedestrian zone and visitors can browse through the boutiques and small stalls in a relaxed manner. This area has the influence of the Danish, English, Maltese and Andalusian merchant families that have settled here from the 18th century. The south of Triana is the location of the Teatro Pérez Galdós. This spectacular building has an opulent interior and a renovated facade. Catch a jazz concert or a play, if time permits. The Casa Museo de Perez Galdos and as you proceed onwards, you will be confronted with a beautiful small square, the Plaza de Cairasco. Take a break at the Gabinete Literario that is now a literary society and a cafe. The Centro Cultural de La Caja de Canarias is a stunning building, the pavements here are broad and airy and you will find a bust of Columbus in the Alameda de Colon, a small square that is close to the Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis that has three naves. This church has a classical Mudejar ceiling and some stunning sculptures by José Luján Pérez. This church was renovated in the 17th century after a fire caused by Dutch pirates.
This beautiful garden was laid out by British inhabitants of this city in the 19th century. A stunning area with elegant houses that were constructed in different architectural styles and many of them house embassies today. Take a walk through the charming Parque Doramas. There is a stunning monument depicting aboriginals, who are tumbling over a precipice to escape being captured. This symbolizes the resistance of the Guanche chief Doramas in who's honor this park was named. Every Sunday, families head to this park to see the free puppet show.
This garden is the site of the Grand Hotel Santa Catalina that was built amidst this lush sub-tropical environment in 1890. It has seen many famous people like Winston Churchill, authoress Agatha Christie and even Prince Charles. The Pueblo Canario and the Museo Nestor are just opposite this hotel. An entertaining area with the Parque Doramas being the path to this city's famous water sports center like the Natacion Metropole and the swimming pool. The nightclubs are just below the Avenida Maritima and the yacht harbor beside the seaside promenade. The nightlife is active at this stretch. The Playa de las Alcaravaneras is reachable from this park, it offers 550 meters of golden sands and it is popular among the locals. The Varadero Sailing Club and the Real Club Nautico are nearby.
Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno or CAAM was founded in 1989 and it plays an important role in reference in the culture and heritage of this city. It is housed in a spectacular building made of marble, glass and pristine white walls, but the exterior has a traditional facade. It holds exhibitions of the local talent and international artists too. One of the main aims of this Atlantic Modern Art Center is to show the influence of the continents of Africa, America and Europe on the culture of this archipelago. There are rooms to conduct workshops, seminars and exhibitions.
Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 to 21:00. Sundays 10:00 to 14:00
Closed on Mondays and bank holidays.
This museum was founded in 1879 and it showcases pre-hispanic artifacts from 500 BC to the 15th century. Created by a group of private inhabitants, the museum seeks to preserve, exhibit and where ever necessary hire the help of archaeologists to research and document this museum's collection. Spread over 11 rooms, the displays highlights a diverse collection of eclectic exhibits of statuettes of gods, pottery, jewelry, ancient tools, skeletal remains and even mummies. Explore the replica of the Cueva Pintada at Galdar and the models of the Guanche dwelling. There is a well stocked library at this museum and encourages students and researchers to use the facilities.
Museum: Monday– Friday: 10:00 to 20:00
Saturdays and Sundays: 10:00 to 14:00
Library: Monday – Friday 10:00 to 20:00
At the north of the Triana district is one of the most beautiful parks of this city, the Parque San Telmo. It is the location of this city's main underground bus station and the taxi service. Explore the well landscaped garden with ancient trees that give shade to the park's benches and encourages picnics during the weekend. There is a bandstand near the children's park and the cool breeze from the sea cools the park down. There is an intriguing art-deco cafe that is eclentic with its interiors, admire the colorful tiles over the fresh seafood paella, pescada al la sal and sopa de mariscos. Visit the quaint Ermita de San Telmo chapel that is a baroque church dedicated to sailors and fishermen.
Playa del Inglés is a picturesque beach that has pristine waters and golden sands. This area has developed and it has many clubs and restaurants. A lively and fun place, when the sun goes down at night. Visitors can relax on the beach under the sun and admire the water as it glitters under the sunlight. They are many fast food cafe that will serve food on the sands. The adventurous can indulge in some water sports. Take a dive into the crystal clear waters and explore the reefs that has sunk many a ship in the medieval times. The hotels around the beach have swimming pools that visitors can use and wellness centers for hours of pampering.
How to get there ?
The Gran Canaria International Airport (LPA) is located 20 minutes from the city center of Las Palmas de Canari. The airport is connected with the motorway Autopista GC-1 and this make the journey fast. The bus service is excellent between the airport and the city center, take the bus 600 from the airport, it is regular and there is service every 30 minutes between 6:15 to 20:00.
The Puerto de la Luz and Las Palmas port is a popular base of cruise ships and between the months of June and October, this port is full of cruise ships that enter from around the world. This makes the port an important requirement for tourism. There are boats from other Canary islands to the mainland, but the trip takes two days. Entering Las Palmas is beautiful via the sea and with access to the port this is the preferred transport.
More information: http://www.grancanaria.com/patronato_turismo/Discover-the-city.12652.0.html#sthash.0Tl8v0pK.dpuf
Getting around The bright yellow buses are known as guaguas. They follow a regular route and this is the cheapest way to get around the city. The tickets are bought from the driver and they will take you anywhere. The yellow buses restricts its route inside the city, while the blue buses go to the other parts of this island. They depart from the San Telmo Bus Station.